It isn’t that often that you come across a movie like the latest installment of the Mad Max franchise. In fact, I’m not sure that I have ever seen anything like it. It is a vision of a desolate, steampunk wasteland where the resources are scarce and the possibility of death is lurking around every twist and bend in the road.
An unspecified amount of time has passed since the events of the first three films. Max Rockatansky (played by Tom Hardy) has become a shell of a man, haunted by the ghosts of his past, and surviving solely on instinct. He rarely speaks and lets his facial expressions do most of his talking. He has become more than just a loner: a crazy renegade with nothing left to live for, nothing left to lose, yet still unable to compromise on his will to fight for justice.
Immortan Joe (played by Hugh Keays-Byrne) is an awesome addition to this movie. He is an old, evil ruler that oversees the Citadel and controls the water supply. Additionally, he gives his army of War Boys a reason to die as Martyrs in his wars by assuring them that they will reach Valhalla and live again.
Shortly after the introduction of the movie, Max is taken captive by Immortan Joe’s War Boys and used as a human blood bag for a warrior named Nux (played by Nicholas Hoult). Max is thrust back onto the road against his will, still subdued and tethered to Nux who is on a possible suicide mission as he, along with all the Immortan Joe’s full army, is on a mission to stop Imperator Furiosa (played by Charlize Theoran) from escaping Citadel with all of Immortan’s wives.
I will be honest, I’d love to write more about the plot of this movie, but it is very sparse and giving away too much would be a major disservice to any of the readers that have not yet seen the film, so let’s move to some of the other aspects of this film.
First off, I have to say that even though this is a Mad Max film, I found Furiosa to be the most profound character. She was a bad-ass one-armed warrior that always seemed to have another trick up her sleeve when the cards were stacked up against her. She was more than willing to fight anyone that wanted to. Like Max, she left most of her communications to body language and facial expressions for the first third of the movie. If Max was supposed to be the heart of this movie, then Furiosa is the soul.
But I think the one thing that is going to leave the most of an impression with the audiences is the visuals. You could pause this movie at any point, print out a freeze-frame, and hang it on display. Every shot of every scene looks like an oil painting of a nightmare that somehow came to life.
I am not sure how George Miller did this, but he made one of the most visually-arresting tales of redemption that I have ever seen. In places, it seems way over-the-top, and there are a few “so bad, it’s good” moments, but overall, it stands out as one of the coolest action movies that I have seen in recent years. As fun as this movie is, I would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone.